Cruise Tips / Is there babysitting on my cruise?

10 instant remedies to aid in the 'kiddie supervision' department

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By Ilona Kauremszky

Don’t get stuck in a parent trap only to discover the cruise line you booked your sailing holiday doesn’t offer babysitting services.

If you want to avoid those scenarios there are ways cruise companies can assist.

For your next cruise trip here are 10 instant remedies to aid in the kiddie supervision department.

1. Lucky you – most cruise lines provide activities and programs for children and youth. The major cruise companies also provide babysitting. Things to consider: baby’s age, facilities, type of care, price, and other aspects vary not only from company to company but also from ship to ship and from sailing to sailing.

2. There are group babysitting services and private in-stateroom babysitting services. Check to see if the cruise line might offer them.

3. Consider hiring a nanny. Some high net worth individuals aren’t just hiring nanny services for the holiday but also hire full-time nannies or private tutors. It’s like having a permanent Maria from the hit classic “The Sound of Music” as your governess. These individuals will add fun and amusement that carries on even during the shore excursions. Think of them teaching Roman history while visiting the Colosseum in Rome.

4. See whether the cruise line might offer evening programs geared toward various age groups so kids can mingle with others their own age. Supervised slumber parties and other interactive games could be on offer.

5. For parents anticipating extracurricular activities consider whether an extra charge is being added. Some programs come with an extra cost plus depending on the program there will be different rules as well as start and end times.

6. Cruise-themed activities based on the sail route are popular as are nature and edutainment-style learning. Often these activities take place at a kid’s club or a kiddie room. These children play areas are common on larger family-oriented cruises. Contemporary cruise brands also have cruise staff who manage the nuts and bolts in children supervision from scheduling arrival and departure times to overseeing the events around the ship.

7. Some ultra luxury ships do not have children’s facilities or only have counselors in peak season when school’s out.

8. Some cruise brands offer children activities but the age categories might not mesh properly. For instance, there might be older kids who could be unhappy hanging out with younger tykes. Parents need to consider whether cruise lines have specific age group breakdowns.

9. Before booking your cruise use the various online groups on social media and ask for passenger experiences and advice. Other passenger referrals based on previous customer feedback are helpful.

10. The best cruise lines understand parents want some down time and provide the opportunities so parents can go to the spa, relax in the deck chair or go have that romantic meal knowing their kids are well cared for.

Bottom line: Do your research. Read the cruise line’s information.

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